The Government of Russia has urged the federal government and relevant stakeholders in the agricultural sector to help improve the processing and packaging of fruits such as banana, papaya, pineapple and mango to meet up with the expectation of the Russia market.
Russia however pledged to strengthen its relations with Nigeria through the purchase of agricultural product.
In 2015 Russia agricultural total export was $16.2 billion, expecting $16.9 billion in 2016.
Speaking to news men in Abuja, the Ambassador of the Russian Federation to Nigeria, Mr Nikolay Udovichenko said that Nigeria’s major export to Russia for now is coco beans, describing Nigeria as a tropical zone that has an abundant supply of fruits and vegetables. Amb. Udovichenko noted that Russia now generate more revenue from selling agricultural produce, plant and machinery in the international market not fire arms.
“The Russian government is delighted and ready to export Nigerian agricultural products, especially, mangoes, pineapples, banana, pawpaw and cocoa beans.
“We are ready to bring finished products and machines to promote the Agriculture sector in the country,” the envoy said.
He said, ‘’In the international market, agricultural produce exports now bring in more revenue to Russia than arms exports. We would probably have scarcely imagined such a thing possible. In 2015 our export came to $14.5 billion in 2015, and our agricultural produce exports came to $16.2 billion.’’
He said though the trade volume between Nigeria and Russia is $500,000, adding that both countries are making efforts to deepen bilateral ties.
He also noted that Russia do not want confrontation with any country, saying that Russia do not have need for it likewise the global community.
Quoting the presidential address by the president of Russia Vladimir Putin, the envoy said that Russia do not seek and never has sought enemies. ’’But we not allow our interest to be infringed upon or ignored.
He said Russia is also ready to work with the new US administration to put bilateral relations back on track and to develop them on an equal and mutually beneficial basis.
He also noted that the strategic partnership between Russia and China have become one of the key factors in ensuring global and regional stability.
The envoy also said that Russia will support Nigeria’s bid for a permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council if its candidate is a consensus of the African Union (AU).
The Security Council is one of the six principal organs of the UN and it is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security.
It has 15 members comprising five permanent and 10 non-permanent members. No Africa country has a permanent representative. The five permanent members are Russia, UK, France, China and the United States.
“If there is a consensus candidate of the AU and from Nigeria, we will be very pleased to support it,” said Udovichenko.